Sometimes when you’ve had a long day, it can seem onerous to make homemade food. That’s when something like a one-pot or oven dinner comes in handy. Also, if you’re really tired, the best thing for you is to get some fresh air and exercise, so you’ll be able to sleep when the time comes.
Earlier this week we combined both of these – after a long day’s work, we walked up the street to our friend Mark’s butcher shop, and picked up a couple of pork chops and some fresh Ontario asparagus. We circled back home for this tasty oven dinner:
First, heat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Then scrub your potatoes and slice 1/4″ or a little less than 1cm thick. Brush with olive or canola oil (we use canola, because it’s Canadian). Press a sage leaf into the top of each slice and place on the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle sparingly with salt, if you like, although they are very tasty with just the sage.
To prepare the pork chops, we brushed them with some fig mustard from Kozlik’s, and put them in their own parchment-lined pan.
Lastly, we took a sheet of foil and put the washed asparagus on it. This could probably have cooked less, but we didn’t want to fuss with it. We chopped a couple of cloves of garlic and added this along with the zest and juice from half a lemon. Wrapping the packet securely, we put it on the sheet pan and added all the dishes to the oven for half an hour.
That’s it! While we were waiting, we enjoyed a beer from the latest batch we bottled at Fermentations on the Danforth. Charles and his team can match the flavour of your favourite beverage, or help you create wine from juice or actual grapes.
We’re feeling pretty fortunate with all of the great food and drinks we can find within a short walk or streetcar ride. Thanks for letting me share.
We are very conscious of food waste in our house, so when we cook, we save vegetable scraps to make broth. We also roasted a chicken earlier in the week, and the carcass went into the stock pot to make chicken soup. Since I hadn’t made bread yet this week, I put together this batch of savoury whole-wheat cheddar and sage biscuits to go with the soup, and we ate the leftovers the next day for breakfast.
It’s an easy recipe, adapted from tea biscuits from a recipe book of my mom’s. You could probably make vegan substitutions such as chilled coconut oil for the butter, or soy cheese – my go-to expert is my friend Louise Spiteri at Vegan Footprints – but I used what I had on hand:
Preheat oven to 400F
Put 1 c (250ml) whole wheat flour, sifted with 1 T (15ml) baking powder in a large bowl. To this, cut in chilled butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. I used to use vegetable shortening but I would rather have an ingredient that is less-processed. When using butter, I generally use the salted kind but there is no additional salt in the recipe, except what occurs in the cheese.
Gently stir in 2T (30ml) chopped fresh sage or 2t (20ml) dried sage, plus 1/2c (125ml) grated sharp cheddar (or other hard, flavourful cheese as you like). Vegan cheese can be substituted.
Add 1/2c (125ml) almond milk and stir just until mixed. Drop onto cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Makes 8 biscuits.
Our recipe used Canadian-milled flour from Rogers Foods, sage from our garden, and aged Ontario cheddar, purchased at St. Lawrence Market.
Sunday morning – when you want decadent flavour with very little effort, these cheesy avocado toasts fit the bill.
Start by grating some cheese – in this case, aged cheddar and Caerphilly – but mixing up flavours will give endless tasty results. For two, cut a small avocado in half and mash with a squeeze of lemon juice. Then preheat the broiler and line a cookie sheet with parchment. While the oven heats, split and lightly toast two whole wheat English muffins.
Top the muffins with the grated cheese and place on the cookie sheet. Broil just until they are nicely melted. Spread the avocado on top and voilà, they’re ready to serve. Stand by for compliments.